Nottinghamshire and England spinner Graeme Swann is in a race against time to be fit for the Ashes this summer. Swann today found out he will need a second operation on a long-term elbow injury.
It means he will play no part in England's three-match test series against New Zealand which began yesterday. The 33-year-old bowler will fly to the USA next week for the career-saving surgery.
The hope is that he will be recovered by early summer in time to play a part in England's year of back-to-back test series against Australia.
Swann, who had a similar operation four years ago, said: "It's a huge year for English cricket and a huge year for me, so if it means taking a more active part in it then it's something I have to do. I know if I don't have the surgery it's more or less curtains."
Liberal Democrat councillors in Rushcliffe have challenged the borough council's decision to give Nottinghamshire County Cricket club more than £800,000, saying it is a disproportionate amount.
The money is part of a £1.2 million loan given to the club in 2007 which was used to build the Bridgford Road stand and floodlighting.
The council now wants to convert £810,000 of it into a grant as a result of the community project set up by the club to help young people in the area. The council says:
“Rushcliffe Borough Council’s original loan to Notts County Cricket Club was £1.23m. But our cabinet decision was to convert £450,000 to grant now with a further £90,000 per annum for a maximum of 4 years in future, conditional on the Positive Futures project continuing to operate at a satisfactory standard.
– Rushcliffe Borough Council
"It is capital money and therefore does not affect frontline services which are paid for via the council tax. This is all about developing young people. The Cricket Club is a great community partner and it’s not about giving them money – it’s about using sport to develop young people for greater potential.”
– Cllr Neil Clarke, leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council